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Pomacanthidae
ANGELFISHES
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Holacanthus clarionensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Holacanthus clarionensis
Holacanthus limbaughi
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Holacanthus limbaughi

Holacanthus limbaughi
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Holacanthus limbaughi
Holacanthus clarionensis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Holacanthus clarionensis

Pomacanthus
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Pomacanthus
Pomacanthus zonipectus
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Pomacanthus zonipectus

Pomacanthus zonipectus
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Pomacanthus zonipectus
Pomacanthus zonipectus
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Pomacanthus zonipectus

Holacanthus
© Copyright Clay Bryce, 2006 · 0
Holacanthus
Holacanthus limbaughi
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Holacanthus limbaughi

Holacanthus passer
© Copyright Clay Bryce, 2006 · 0
Holacanthus passer
Holacanthus passer
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Holacanthus passer

Holacanthus clarionensis
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Holacanthus clarionensis
Pomacanthidae
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pomacanthidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • body: deep, flat disc
  • 1 d
  • mouth small, protractile;teeth brush-like
  • preopercle: 1 large spine
FAMILY POMACANTHIDAE

ANGELFISHES

Angelfishes are close relatives of the butterflyfishes and until recently were considered to belong in the same family. They share a number of characteristics such as deep compressed bodies, rough scales which extend out onto the median fins, a single unnotched dorsal fin and a small mouth with brush-like teeth. They differ from butterflyfishes, however, in having a long spine at the corner of the preopercle (also smaller spines on the preopercle, opercle, and preorbital); they lack a scaly "axillary process" at the base of the pelvic fins; the scales are rougher and have distinct ridges on the exposed part, and adults may have small auxiliary scales between the main body scales; the postlarvae lack bony plates on the head and anterior body.

Most angelfishes are inhabitants of tropical Indo-Pacific seas, being found mainly in the vicinity of coral reefs. They occur both solitarily or in aggregations. Many species inhabit shallow water, from only a few meters to 10-15m depth. Others are restricted to deep water. Angelfishes are favorite aquarium pets, well known for their brilliant array of color patterns. Species of Holacanthus and Pomacanthus exhibit dramatic changes in color pattern from the juvenile to adult stage. Most angelfishes are dependent on the presence of shelter in the form of boulders, caves, and coral crevices. Typically, they are somewhat territorial and spend daylight hours near the bottom in search of food. The diet varies according to species; some feed almost exclusively on algae and detritus, others such as the species of Holacanthus and Pomacanthus prefer mainly sponges supplemented by a variety of benthic invertebrates. Divers are sometimes startled by the powerful drumming or thumping sound which is produced by large adult angels in the genus Pomacanthus.

The family has a circumtropical distribution and is represented by about 84 species in nine genera; only four endemic species from 2 genera are known from the tropical eastern Pacific.


References
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Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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